My hair leads me through
my own house like a ghost
looking for proof of itself,
finds only the inconvenient
soft smells of the living,
bitter as pith. In the
morning I read books
by young men who are old
today, or dead, their every
error cast now into legacy.
They seemed to know so
early the worth of the wind
that rippled across their long
and lingered-over fields.
How much longer they’ve
been permitted to live
with their own hearts.
How to leave a record
of having felt each lost fish
slip between the seasons,
each seam as the train shifts
its track, the ache in each,
in each, this earth barely
stitched up and counting
down? Again today I think
I can feel my death rise up
in my body like a friend
checking in, I’ve had my phone
in the refrigerator, I say,
almost an apology.

Laura Eve Engel is the author of Things That Go (Octopus Books). A recipient of fellowships from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, and the Yiddish Book Center, her work can be found in Best American Poetry, Boston Review, Colorado Review, Crazyhorse, The Nation, PEN America, Tin House and elsewhere.